What an exciting past couple of days I have had. Mito Japan was invaded on Friday night by 15 fresh ALTs (let’s see if any of them try to correct me and say they’re “AETs” :) — and for the record, ALT and AET are the same thing). I was especially excited because the new group included several of my good friends. So I trekked down to Mito Saturday afternoon and was reunited with some people that I love dearly. Saturday night we went shopping with them and took them to eat at a ramen restaurant. Thanks to sympathy jet-lag, we were all worn out by the end of the night. Then Sunday was a full day of fun and new experiences for the new guys. It started with church, which I think might have been a bit overwhelming for everyone involved. :) But it was great and they were welcomed well by the church leaders and members. I hope some of them will come up north to visit us at Taga sometime! Below is a picture of all the newcomers in a row introducing themselves to the church. After church about 40 gaijin (foreigners) invaded a local restaurant and thoroughly freaked out the waitressing staff. Naturally we drew quite a bit of attention to ourselves and made some new friends in the process. After church Sunday night many of us went and played a rousing game of soccer. It was pretty fun, but perhaps I am not serious enough to play with the big boys. :) I do think I was nice ornamentation for the team, though. After that I caught a train back up to H-town. Although it seems much more real now than it did before I saw everyone, it is still pretty surreal. I am so excited to have the new people here– both for myself to have more friends in the same country as me, but moreso for them to be beginning one of the greatest adventures of their lives. Please join me in praying for them as they start the transition of living in a new culture and working at a new job.

Newbies Part I

Newbies Part II

Newbies Part III

The gang’s all here! Travis, Blake, Peter, Ann and Chisato–photo by Denver Schow

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